Friday, February 12, 2010

Fantasy Land

I suppose many of my readers, like myself, have hobbies. Today I thought I would share with you mine. Don’t be surprised – it’s writing.

Yeah – yeah, I know! I write blogs. I write books. But, I also have a very cool hobby of roleplaying. Roleplaying? Yep, I’m addicted.

Let me tell you about my little fantasy land that I enjoy with four other friends. We have a world on MySpace where we get together every day and write collectively a story set in 19th century Paris, France. Each of us has a profile that represents a character and we post multi-paragraph or novella style writing collectively that makes a story. We have 13 characters – most of us play two or three. They are all aristocrats in high society set in 1870. We have a Marquis, Marchioness, Comte, Comtess, Vicomte, Vicomtess, Baron, Duke, a Lady, and a prostitute (got to spice things up!).

Our world is played like it was lived. We hold tight to the rules of the day regarding courtship, love, marriage, no divorce, and plenty of mistresses. It was the way life was lived. However, there are things I absolutely love about our world. We have manners, rules of society, certain behavioral standards that must be kept, and lots of plotting. Of course, there's lots of love, deceit, and dastardly things happening too.

Sometimes I wish I could have lived in the 19th century. It was a place where people talked face to face. They met at social gatherings like balls, the opera, or took walks in parks. Men and women bowed or curtsied when they greeted one another. There were no cell phones, computers, iPods, or whatever. People actually had to converse and talk rather than meet on Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. The ladies had tea together after dinner parties, and the men went off to smoke cigars and have a glass of brandy. I often wonder what they talked about!

Well, in our world of make believe, I find my fantasy land. I actually don’t play the part of a woman – I play the part of three men – a Baron, Comte, and Vicomte. It’s fun and I get to break all the ladies' hearts, and all the ladies break mine! I am faithful to one wife though. We have a great time, and all five of us are addicted to a world we find solace in just because it’s away from our hectic lives where we create our own world and terrific story. We hardly ever watch TV, as our roleplay group has become our number one soap opera.

The world we live in today is so stressful, so disconnected – when technology tells me it’s connecting me with everyone! Bah humbug! We can barely carry intelligent conversations, hardly ever make friends, find new loves for our lives, all because we all hide behind a computer monitor and live through the technology of Internet rather than the humanness of real social networking. I see that a lot with single people.

For me, roleplaying takes me to a time that was different. A quieter life – a place where women were respected, men were gentlemen, people socialized, and respect was given. So that is my fantasy land that helps me deal with my single life of loneliness. Hum, perhaps I should leave it and find the real world out there and meet someone. Nah, I like the 19th century better.

What do you think? Where is your fantasy land and your place to cope with your lonely single existence? Behind a game? Playing Farmville on Facebook? Solitaire on Windows 2007? Whatever it is, I understand – we all need to cope one way or the other.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m up next to type. My extremely rich French Comte is looking for love and there’s a new lady in town.

Cheerfully yours,


Anonymous said...

A week or so ago, I read you entire blog and finished only wanting more. I really relate to a lot of what you've said. It's honest but with a good pinch of optimism.

This particular entry has stayed with me some as I thought about your little group who writes stories together and that being your escape.

Since then I've been thinking about your question..."What is my escape to cope with my lonely single existence?" Right now, really it is just reading books. I try to stay away from romantic books or things that remind me too much of my situation. Reading books that take place in the past keep me from thinking about the "now" because there are no reminders of dating sites or computers or cell phones, etc.

Keep writing. I love reading your entries!

Anonymous said...

Living in the 19th century? Never ever!

Why do so many romance novels play in the 19th century? We know the reality of today, where people fall in love, marry and divorce. We know that "they lived happily ever after" is only true in tales. Does anybody know a couple that lived happily ever after?

For times gone by we can pretend that things were better. We can take out a part of former reality and build the perfect scenery in our fantasies and leave the cruel reality of that times behind.

What was the life of most of the aristocratic girls like in that times? I think they had little choices of their own. As long as they lived with their parents, they had to obey them. Then they where married, often to a man chosen by their parents because the family interests fitted well together. From that day on, they had to obey their husband, stay at home, have children etc..He could go and look for his amusement whereever he wanted, while she wasn't allowed to go out without a chaperone. Converse and talk from personto person? Yes, on tea afternoons and balls where walls had ears and everybody was tatteling about the others.

Diseases we only know by the name killed many people, often enough especially the children.

And the living of the lower classes was even much more difficult.

I hope I have not spoiled your fantasy land. Fantasies like yours, sometimes written down as novels, help many people to have a little time-out from their everday problems.

I also like these stories, and sometimes I sail around with a very good-looking, noble pirate. Because in former times pirates where always noble, never cruel ;-)

Vicki Hopkins said...

Dear living in the 19th Century - Well, you have me pegged quite wrong. I'm well aware of the "realities" of the 19th century. All you need to do is purchase my book, The Price of Innocence, and read the realities. There is no sugar coating. Women had it quite differently in those days. Frankly, I'm not sold on the 21st century either! Just because we have less disease, terrific technology supposedly making our lives easier, I don't think we're that better off. Free thinking young women of the day don't exactly make good decisions either. How about the proliferation of unwed mothers, abortions, and sexual disease rampant even in our century, because of unchaperoned free thinking women? It's a matter of taste and morals. I can assure you, that I'm well versed in 19th century living, morals, marriage, and mistresses. You haven't spoiled my fantasyland one bit. That's why it's called a fantasyland by building a better place and time to enjoy.